Excellent educational experiences are not optional in Indianapolis Public Schools; our daily commitment to providing rigorous instructional offerings is intentional, it’s written into our Teaching and Learning goal area of IPS Strategic Plan 2015! We’re proud to have a host of strong Social Studies educators engaging our students through exciting and innovative classroom experiences.
Being an excellent educator is about more than getting things accomplished in the classroom; many of our dedicated educators exhibit a strong commitment to continuing their growth through professional development in their preferred field. This constant progress creates opportunities for our teachers to advance student achievement by bringing authentic learning experiences to the classroom. IPS Social Studies Instructional Coach Eric Heagy says Arsenal Technical High School’s Troy Hammon exemplifies this commitment to excellence.
“Troy is wonderful about being a part of the professional community as a member of both the Indiana Council for the Social Studies and the National Council for the Social Studies and dutifully attends several of their professional conferences,” said Heagy. “He’s been a big part of keeping National History Day (a performance-based history competition) alive at Tech’s campus.”
The National History Day competition encourages students to engage in immersive experiences, learning about all facets of an event or historical figure, and sharing the product of their extensive research through papers, displays and a performance presentation. Mr. Hammon’s History students also learn about civic engagement through informative visits from local leaders. This year, students have hosted visitors including former Mayor Greg Ballard and State Superintendent Glenda Ritz.
“Mr. Hammon does a great job of bringing the real world to life within his classroom,” said Arsenal Tech Principal Julie Bakehorn. “He is self-motivated and works hard for his students. Troy enriches their lives in ways they won’t realize for years!”
At the elementary level, “We the People” is an engaging initiative many of our Social Studies teachers incorporate into their students’ academic experiences. Students in upper primary and middle grades learn about the branches of government, political parties, elections and the effect of government policies on our economy.
Sidener Academy for High Ability Learners regularly participates in the Indiana “We the People” competition, where students take part in a simulated congressional hearing. Sidener teacher Barbara Burdge ensures her students’ involvement in “We the People” culminates with the opportunity to visit Washington, D.C. to see the hub of our nation’s government in person.

We are proud to have passionate, dedicated and talented educators in our schools, and we look forward to the continued effects their efforts will have on IPS students as they become educated and engaged citizens!